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Max Verstappen beats defending seven-time champion Hamilton to win final F1 round in Abu Dhabi GP

By Reuters | December 12th 2021 | 3 min read
December 12, 2021 Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship Pool via REUTERS

Red Bull's Max Verstappen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and his first Formula One title with a last lap overtake on Sunday to deny championship rival Lewis Hamilton a record eighth crown in a race full of controversy.

Hamilton's Mercedes team won the constructors' title for an unprecedented eighth successive year but Verstappen, 24, made sure it was not another double.

The season-ending race started and ended with an argument -- tears of joy on one side and rage on the other, Mercedes furious with race director Michael Masi as the drivers' title disappeared so close to the chequered flag.

Red Bull had said they needed a miracle to win as Hamilton headed towards the title and a late safety car intervention provided just that opportunity.

With one racing lap to the finish and the Dutch driver on fresher tyres, Verstappen hunted down Hamilton and made the move.

"It's insane," said the first Dutch world champion who had started the day on pole position and level on points with Hamilton and whose hopes sank and rose as the stewards intervened.

"This is unbelievable guys! Can we do this for another 10-15 years together," he had said over the radio.

"We needed a bit of luck and we got it," said team boss Christian Horner.

Verstappen ended the season with 10 wins to Hamilton's eight, having also led more laps and taken more poles and podiums.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz finished the race in third place.

List of Formula One world champions

List of Formula One world champions after Max Verstappen took the 2021 title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday:

2021 - Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull

2020 - Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes

2019 - Hamilton, Mercedes

2018 - Hamilton, Mercedes

2017 - Hamilton, Mercedes

2016 - Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes

2015 - Hamilton, Mercedes

2014 - Hamilton, Mercedes

2013 - Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull

2012 - Vettel, Red Bull

2011 - Vettel, Red Bull

2010 - Vettel, Red Bull

2009 - Jenson Button (Britain) Brawn

2008 - Hamilton, McLaren

2007 - Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari

2006 - Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault

2005 - Alonso, Renault

2004 - Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari

2003 - Schumacher, Ferrari

2002 - Schumacher, Ferrari

2001 - Schumacher, Ferrari

2000 - Schumacher, Ferrari

1999 - Mika Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren

1998 - Hakkinen, McLaren

1997 - Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) Williams

1996 - Damon Hill (Britain) Williams

1995 - Schumacher, Benetton

1994 - Schumacher, Benetton

1993 - Alain Prost (France) Williams

1992 - Nigel Mansell (Britain) Williams

1991 - Ayrton Senna (Brazil) McLaren

1990 - Senna, McLaren

1989 - Prost, McLaren

1988 - Senna, McLaren

1987 - Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Williams

1986 - Prost, McLaren

1985 - Prost, McLaren

1984 - Niki Lauda (Austria) McLaren

1983 - Piquet, Brabham

1982 - Keke Rosberg (Finland) Williams

1981 - Piquet, Brabham

1980 - Alan Jones (Australia) Williams

1979 - Jody Scheckter (South Africa) Ferrari

1978 - Mario Andretti (U.S.) Lotus

1977 - Lauda, Ferrari

1976 - James Hunt (Britain) McLaren

1975 - Lauda, Ferrari

1974 - Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil) McLaren

1973 - Jackie Stewart (Britain) Tyrrell

1972 - Fittipaldi, Lotus

1971 - Stewart, Tyrrell

1970 - Jochen Rindt (Austria) Lotus

1969 - Stewart, Matra

1968 - Graham Hill (Britain) Lotus

1967 - Denny Hulme (New Zealand) Brabham

1966 - Jack Brabham (Australia) Brabham

1965 - Jim Clark (Britain) Lotus

1964 - John Surtees (Britain) Ferrari

1963 - Clark, Lotus

1962 - Hill, BRM

1961 - Phil Hill (U.S.) Ferrari

1960 - Brabham, Cooper

1959 - Brabham, Cooper

1958 - Mike Hawthorn (Britain) Ferrari

1957 - Juan Manuel Fangio (Argentina) Maserati

1956 - Fangio, Lancia/Ferrari

1955 - Fangio, Mercedes

1954 - Fangio, Mercedes/Maserati

1953 - Alberto Ascari (Italy) Ferrari

1952 - Ascari, Ferrari

1951 - Fangio, Alfa Romeo

1950 - Giuseppe Farina (Italy) Alfa Romeo

- - - -

Multiple champions:

7 - Schumacher, Hamilton

5 - Fangio

4 - Prost, Vettel

3 - Brabham, Stewart, Lauda, Piquet, Senna

2 - Ascari, Graham Hill, Clark, Fittipaldi, Hakkinen,

 

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